The West Virginia Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, has launched its annual letter writing competition for students in grade 4 through 12 – Letters About Literature for the 2016-17 school year. Letters About Literature is a national program, supported locally by the West Virginia Center for the Book at the West Virginia Library Commission.
Students who participate in the program choose a book they feel has had an impact on their view of the world, their view of their own personal lives, or both. Then, they write a letter to the author of that book (living or dead), telling him or her why the book is important to them, and how it has affected their point of view. The theme for this year’s writing competition is, “How Did an Author’s Work Change Your View of the World or Yourself?”
Entries are first sent to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, to be read by national judges. Those national judges then send the best of the letters to local West Virginia judges, chosen by the WV Center for the Book, who will decide which letters deserve Top Honors, Honors, and Honorable Mention places. Entries for state level judging are selected on how well students meet the required criteria of: audience, purpose, grammatical conventions, and originality.
Student entries for the 24th annual contest will be accepted beginning Nov. 2, and must be postmarked by the following dates:
• Dec. 2: LEVEL 3 Grade 9-12
• Jan. 9: LEVEL 2 Grade 7-8
• Jan. 9: LEVEL 1 Grade 4-6
Winners receive cash prizes and will be honored at a special ceremony at the Culture Center on the state capitol grounds. Last year, 768 students from West Virginia were among the more than 47,000 students nationwide who participated in the Letters About Literature program.